Friday, October 31, 2008

a confession

I'm not all that fond of Halloween. I'm just not.

Other interests and concerns, such as saving time and money, tend to overshadow the requirements of gathering together costumes and gigantic bags of sucrose for various events. I don't relish the idea of sending my kids out to ask for candy from neighbors, while I have to hand out candy to other kids who come a-calling around here.

At my daughter's preschool today they are, of course, having a Halloween party. Where you could bring treats. Just a suggestion! *smile, smile* Ack!

Just what we need! MORE SUGAR FOR THE DAY! Honestly, could the teacher just please hand out ONE treat to each child, say Happy Halloween and send them home without the makings of a sugar induced coma?

I sent Halloween pencils, instead.

Also, I just don't get that big of a kick out of the whole spooky whatever. Or as my kids would say: smooky. Which makes me like Halloween a little bit, because when something is smooky, how can you not smile just a little bit about that?

Our smooky pumpkins from last year.
Okay, I do like the pumpkin part of Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

A special notice by the National Weather Service for my area:



Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A source of random knowledge: a few of my computer bookmarks, for your enjoyment.

I hesitate to expound on what in the world this list possibly says about me. So I won't expound, I'll just suggest to you that it must be something rather profound. Have a good day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

it's true

Cashews are pretty dang good.

To eat, that is.

They may be good for other things, too.

I just don't know what they would be.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

or, as Dori would say, just keep swimming

There are a number of goals I've put in place to improve some of the familial aspects around here. September was relatively successful. Not everything slid into place, but a lot of it did. The improvements added in October have been unimpressive, however. I find myself marking off the days in anticipation of the end of the month. Why?

Maybe because October has been a catch-up month, as opposed to a brave new frontier kind of month. Everybody needs catch-up months, however. We need a moment to catch our breath, gather our senses and prepare to set off again.

This doesn't mean that the month of October has been some sort of spa visit, where I've gone in to relax. It just means the pace has slowed a little bit because of all the runny noses I've stopped to wipe in between trying to implement a new job program with the kids. In fact, some times the alluring spa visit is just a trap, inviting us to hibernate, when really what we need to do is just keep going.

Life can give you all sorts of reasons to give up, change course. Yes, sometimes the pace slows. That, however, is not an excuse to stop. It just means it'll be time to walk a little faster at the next bend in the road, after we catch our breath. Which will be easier as soon as these colds go away.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sometimes I feel like I'm living in one. But this Saturday we decided to go an actual zoo. It was a lot of fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008


The word "help" apparently appears in 52 of my posts, although none of them have the distinction of being titled help! Which, of course, automatically brings to mind the song by the Beatles {help! I need somebody. help! not just anybody} with lyrics that are all too true.

It's fall break. Bleh.

Sure, fall break is fun in principle, but it messes with my schedule. And it means my first-grader has more time to hang around the house being ornery and mean to everyone who crosses her path {as first graders are wont to do} which makes her younger siblings retaliate in kind {as siblings are wont to do} and then the mom, who has a cold and is already tired, feels completely over the top and realizes that the best thing to do is to clean the toilets. Because they could use a good cleaning. Really, they could. Also, she might yell too much.

Better to stick with the toilets.

And I could use some instruction on how to deal with early-morning sibling rivalry. And unruly children prone to exaggerated crying jags carefully calculated in their appearance as well as unrealistic expectations. Also, what to do with a mother's unrealistic expectations. Because apparently I have a few.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

my little girl

She's a funny little girl, currently obsessed with shoes. Right now it's her brother's sneakers. Sometimes it's a pair of flip flops, but while she is a rather agile 17 month old, those flips take a tad bit more walking-coordination than her generic-version crocs require. She loves to grab her sister's sparkly pink tennis shoes, and though they are at least double the size of her feet, the straps that zigzag back and forth keep them on relatively well, at least good for a trip down the hall and back.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

pretend that this morning I blogged something really funny.

"Heeheeheehee, hahahahahahahaaaa! Haaaa, ha, ha, ha,ha! Whew!"


Monday, October 13, 2008


I have the dreaded Fall cold. But I also have a large jug of pink grapefruit juice (100%, mind you - none of that cocktail 8.2 % juice stuff for me) and I'm downing it and hoping that all of the vitamin C will have me on my feet again in no time. Well, okay, I'm on my feet anyway, just not as enthusiastically as usual. Off to do some laundry! Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


He brought his clothes to me - a shirt and his pants. When I insisted on changing his diaper he wasn't happy.

I wrestled him down, changed the diaper and went to help him put on his selection of clothing, at which point he started dancing around and screaming like a wild man because he wanted me to put his pajama pants back on.

I was, of course, utterly baffled. What in the world...? Hadn't he brought the pants to me to put on? Wasn't it his idea to get dressed?

But so what?

He's two.

And there he was, ready to melt down to a puddle of inconsolable tears and screams.

So I put the pj bottoms back on.

He promptly took them off. And then I understood.

He wanted to do that part. "Owiver do that part," he repeated to himself as he took one leg out and then the other.

I helped him put his jeans on, and all was well. Until the next toddler misunderstanding.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

expending unecessary energy

Remember a couple years back when the U.S. Congress thought it would be a brilliant move to extend Daylight Savings time by two months? It was supposed to save some energy and all that. Whatever. I'm here to tell you that while I do appreciate a little more light at the end of the day, I would gladly, gladly, give it up for an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Because Daylight Savings Time is not conserving any of my energy at the moment.

I am counting the days to the beginning of November, and not just because all of this election stuff will be over.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

a few things I love

a hot cup of cocoa

fall leaves

misty mountains in the morning


a comfortable jacket, suitable for around the house wearing

a warm bath

a good book

Oh, October. What a lovely month.

Monday, October 6, 2008

when all other lights go out

Then, as he stood, darkness about him and a blackness of despair and anger in his heart, it seemed to him that he saw a light: a light in his mind, almost unbearably bright at first, as a sun-ray to the eyes of one long hidden in a windowless pit. Then the light became colour: green, gold, silver, white.

Far off, as in a little picture drawn by elven-fingers, he saw the Lady Galadriel standing on the grass in Lórien, and gifts were in her hands.
And you, Ring-bearer, he heard her say, remote but clear, for you I have prepared this.

"Master, master!" cried Sam, and life and urgency came back into his voice. "The Lady’s gift! The star-glass!"

"The star-glass?" muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep, hardly comprehending. "Why yes! Why had I forgotten it?
A light when all other lights go out! And now indeed light alone can help us."
* * * * *
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. ~ John 8:12

It was dark. It was the middle of the night. As occasionally happens, I was awakened to a half-consciousness by things that had been on my mind. They floated in and out of my awareness while I half-prayed, half-slept, or half-tried-to-sleep. I was worrying about people I love so much it hurts. It's hard to know whether or not things become more clear in this semi-dreamlike state, or if they become more muddled and exaggerated. Tossing and turning, I leaned over to check the time. Early morning. Not too much more time for sleep but some, if only I could manage it.

And then these two passages came to my mind, and though, as with Frodo, there is still a difficult road ahead, they offered hope, and I finally fell asleep.

Friday, October 3, 2008

a true story ~ or, why we continue to rent

Once upon a time there was a house. It was for sale. It had been for sale for a very long time because it had been trashed by renters and their dogs. But the house had good bones and lots of potential, despite the fact the someone had tried to squeeze a large jetted tub into the normal-but-smallish pretending-to-be master bathroom, perhaps thinking that jets in the tub would somehow over compensate for the fact there there was very little room to use the toilet. They were wrong, but whatever. The bathtub could be removed.

The house went up for short sale. And an offer was made. And then the house, victim of those bundled mortgages that got shipped out of state and off to Georgia, went to auction, despite the offer. And then a Private Investigator, yes, a P.I. , was hired to track down the guy who actually owned the house and when he was finally found he knew nothing about the offer. There had been an offer on his house for three months and his real estate agent had told him absolutely nothing about it, because, it seems, she was incompetent. Which is all too bad, because it was his credit rating on the the line.

But alas, bureaucracy made sure that there was no way to stop the house from going into foreclosure, and then the mortgage was sold to the infamous Fannie Mae, who was subsequently rescued by the government. The house was then white-washed to give the impression that it had been fixed up. But the overly-large tub was still hogging all the space in the upstairs bath, and the cosmetic problems were still there, they were just white now. And some of the closet doors had been- wait for it- painted closed by the brilliant handy men who had, ahem, "repaired the house."

And then the government finally listed the house at an optimistic 90 thousand dollars {yes, ninety- not nine} more than the original offer. This is what worries me about the bailout and the good ol' U S of A buying up bad mortgages.

Because, I'm sorry, but white paint can only do so much.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

picture this

A light pink floral skirt.
A dark pink dotted-stripe shirt. The dots are multi-colored.
Navy blue "soccer socks" (meaning, they go up to the knee).
Brown Mary Jane shoes.

Before I could get my camera the door bell rang and she was out the door, backpack on, ponytail swinging back and forth.

Sometimes I have to bite my tongue to let this Force of Personality and her unfettered creativeness head out on it's own without my advice and discretion. And then I remember that the world will take care of that far too soon as it is.

And that this would be a better place if we all felt comfortable in floral prints with navy blue knee socks. Figuratively speaking.